Polish Draft Act amending the Act on the provision of information on the environment and its protection, public participation in environmental protection, environmental impact assessments and the act on nature protection was made public recently. Amending provisions included in this act are related especially to organization and functioning the work of General Director of Environmental Protection (GDEP) and Regional Directors of Environmental Protection (RDEPs) as well as offices supporting them.
Directorate for Environmental Protection
According to the proposed solutions, the organizational structure offices serving GDEP and RDEPs will be uniformed. A new institution is being established – Directorate for Environmental Protection headed by GDEP. At the same time, currently existing General Directorate for Environmental Protection, which serves GDEP will be changed into the head office of Directorate for Environmental Protection. All current employees of the regional directorates for environmental protection will become the employees of Directorate for Environmental Protection. At the same time, all RDEPs will be included in government administration.
The abovementioned changes will result in creation of unified and consolidated structure headed by GDEP, which will be served by head office of Directorate for Environmental Protection and then the RDEPs, which will be served by regional offices of Directorate for Environmental Protection. Current GDEP and all RDEPs will be removed from their positions. Also, jurisdiction area of particular RDEPs will be changed.
Impact on currently pending proceedings
Unfinished administrative proceedings conducted by former (current) RDEP will be continued by new RDEP according to its jurisdiction. The tasks and competences of RDEPs will remain the same. The first instance authority will be the appropriate RDEP and the second instance will be the GDEP. RDEPs will be appointed by appropriate Minister responsible for the environment on request of GDEP.
The project has already undergone by phase of internal consultations with various ministries, as well as by phase of public consultations. Currently, the project is being evaluated by particular environmental organizations and public administration bodies, trade unions, voivodship authorities as well as environmental and nature conservation authorities. It should be noted that according to the content of projected amendments the new law should enter into force on January 1st, 2018.
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